THIS year — that is, 2015, the year soon to depart — has been a good one for
THIS year — that is, 2015, the year soon to depart — has been a good one for the Japanese carmaker Suzuki.
And one of the cornerstones of its success has been the Swift. Suzuki announced in 2015 that global sales of the Swift had passed the four million mark.
Launched in the UK in May 2005, more than 90,000 Swifts have been sold and now account for around 30 per cent of the mix of Suzuki’s UK sales.
There was good news too in the autumn when at the recent National Franchised Dealers Association’s autumn ball the company was presented with the manufacturer of the year award.
That tough car scrutiniser JD Power named the Suzuki Alto the most dependable city car in the 2015 UK vehicle dependability study.
The Celerio, Suzuki’s latest global compact city car, went on sale in the UK back in February. So all in all, 2015 has been a year where this car company has made more inroads into the hugely competitive world car market.
I have been driving the Swift Dualjet SZ4 4x4, which back in the spring benefited from the introduction in this five-door of the Dualjet engine. And I have to report that this engine comes as an added bonus.
The new model replaces the outgoing SZ4 4x4 and comes in with improved fuel economy, lower CO2 emissions and a lower vehicle excise duty band too — moving from Band D (£110) to Band C (£30), helping to lower the cost of ownership by £80 per year.
The SZ4 Dualjet 4x4 has CO2 emissions of 111g/km and an EC combined fuel consumption figure of 58.8mpg, representing a 15g/km reduction and 7.5 mpg improvement versus the outgoing SZ4 4x4 model.
The 1.2-litre Dualjet engine (K12C) incorporates Suzuki’s latest technology that utilises twin fuel injectors for improved fuel economy.
Utilising Dualjet technology that positions the fuel injectors very close to the engine inlet valves allows for a finer fuel atomisation (or mixture), which in turn provides a more effective transfer into the engine.
The Swift is available in five grades — SZ2, SZ3, SZ-L, SZ4 and Sport with 1.6-litre engine.
All models offer seven airbags and ESP (Electronic Stability Program) as standard, front passenger airbag deactivation facility, electric front windows, remote central door locking with deadlocks, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, MP3- and WMA-compatible CD tuner with USB port and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.
All five-door models have electric rear windows as standard. Amethyst Grey metallic has been discontinued due to lower demand but the acclaimed Sport model is available in Galactic Grey metallic.
Swift is a Suzuki’s “world strategic model” — first built in Japan in 2004, then expanding production to Hungary, India and China in 2005, Malaysia (2007), Pakistan (2009), Thailand (2012) and most recently, Vietnam at the start of the year. All European Swifts are made at Suzuki’s established Magyar plant in Hungary.
Across the globe, 11 per cent of sales are in Japan, around 50 per cent in India and 19 per cent across Europe. The Swift is driven across 140 countries, and has won around 70 awards.
For those who fancy a sportier experience, there is also the 1.6 Swift Sport — the performance flagship of the Swift range offering higher levels of tuning, steering and braking performance than the standard Swift. Recent developments to the range include the addition of DAB digital radio and satellite navigation as standard equipment on SZ4 and Swift Sport models, along with a gearshift indicator and Tyre Pressure Monitor System.
All models except the Sport are also now equipped with LED DRL (daytime running lights) and front fog lights. Swift SZ-L, based on the 1.2 litre SZ3, the SZ-L adds two-tone metallic paint in either Boost Blue or Cosmic Black with contrasting Cool White roof, rear spoiler and door mirrors.